December 12, 2013


Stop Wasting Money: Buy the Identical, Cheaper Versions of Big Brands (Melanie Pinola, 12./12/13, Lifehacker)

One secret of store brands--or "private label" brands with seemingly bargain quality--is that they're often made by the same companies that manufacturer big name products. So instead of paying twice as much for the same (or very similar) product, buy the just-as-good carbon copies. Here's a look at some of the many products you can save a ton of money on.P

Private label brands are owned by the retailer or supplier but the items are made by other manufacturers and just packaged differently. Some examples include Costco's Kirkland Signature products and just about everything at Trader Joe's. Reynolds Wrap, McCormick, and Birds Eye are all producing versions of their aluminum foil, spices, and frozen and canned vegetable products for store brands.P

The potential savings are great. According to the Private Label Manufacturers Association, we can save more than 30% on average by shopping supermarkets' private labels instead of national brands:

Among individual food items the cost savings ranged as high as 62% for white sandwich bread, 48% for macaroni and cheese, and 47% for hot chocolate. Savings on average for non-food categories were led by sinus spray (the store brand version cost a full 53% less), body lotion (36% less), and cold medicine (30% less).

Unfortunately for us, retail stores and their manufacturing partners prefer to keep mum about their relationships, so we can't assume that a generic white bread is made by the likes of Pepperidge Farm or Wonder Bread. Sometimes the generic version is produced by a manufacturer who only makes store brands. With a little bit of sleuthing, though, we did find quite a few examples of store brands that are most likely (if not certainly) manufactured by the same companies making the national brand equivalent.

Posted by at December 12, 2013 2:24 PM

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